The Reuters news agency has reported that the Palestinian Authority (PA) intends to continue paying stipends to families of terrorists, despite assurances that PA President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly made to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
According to Reuters, the PA intends to continue the payments, but to hide them under a different appropriation:
Palestinian officials said they were not aware of any change and that it was unlikely a policy that has been a cornerstone of social support for decades would be altered.
“There have been talks about making the payments in a different way, but not ending them,” said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on discussions held with the Americans.
Tillers told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday: “They have changed that policy and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others.”
President Donald Trump has raised the issue with Abbas, reportedly discussing it at the White House in May and again in Bethlehem during his trip to the Middle East.
But the Palestinians have provided no proof of their compliance with his demand, and now evidence is emerging that they are actively seeking ways to continue rewarding and incentivizing terror against Israeli civilians.
A new bill, the Taylor Force Act — named for a U.S. citizen and Army veteran stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist last year — would cut off funds to the PA until the State Department “has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.